According to the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the population of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States is growing at a faster pace than any other race group in the country. Furthermore, this group is expected to reach upwards of 41 million within the next 35 years. At the same time, roughly 18% of Pacific Islanders and 13% of Asians in this country are living below the poverty line. This is in comparison with 12% of the general population.
These poverty rates cannot change unless more Asians and Pacific Islanders have access to college educations. Currently, statistics say that 50-65% of both Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander adults have never enrolled in any form of college or university education. To combat these numbers, APIASF and other organizations have put together numerous grants and scholarships for Asian Americans.
How Scholarships for Asians Can Help You
Are you interested in pursuing higher education and in furthering your career in a field that you’re passionate about? It’s almost a trick question; who isn’t interested in these things? However, for most Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, lack of funding stands in the way of further education.
If you’re not planning on attending college or university because you cannot afford to pay tuition or because you are afraid of being saddled with student loans, you are not alone. However, you may be missing out on hugely helpful grants and scholarships designed specifically to help you get on the path to better education and a great career.
There are a number of free search engines and databases online dedicated solely to helping students and prospective students find scholarships and grants. The US Department of Labor has a listing of thousands of scholarships available at CareerInfoNet.org. Not all of the scholarships listed here are specifically scholarships for Asians, but you can refine your scholarship search to include scholarships for minorities and/or Asian Americans for better results.
The Benefits of Scholarships for Asian Americans
The benefits of these scholarships actually reach far beyond simply helping you pay for your education. You’ll have less debt when you graduate than if you had relied entirely on student loans, and you’ll be more likely to graduate because you won’t have to worry about running out of loan money, as well.
Beyond these benefits, you’ll be benefiting the entire Asian American population by introducing more diversity to your campus, creating a better career and life for yourself, and passing those benefits along to the next generation. If more Asian Americans take advantage of the scholarships available to them right now, those poverty statistics listed at the beginning of this article will dwindle away in the coming years.
Applying for Scholarships for Asians Americans
No two scholarships will have exactly the same requirements, but many are quite similar. For example, to receive one of the APIASF’s scholarships, at a minimum, the applicant must:
- Be Asian and/or Pacific Islander.
- Be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.
- Be scheduled to enroll in an accredited college or university in the United States at the beginning of the next school year.
- Have a minimum 2.7 GPA on an unweighted 4.0 scale or have earned a GED.
- Have applied for FAFSA aid.
- Submit a letter of recommendation.
While the specific requirements for each scholarship will vary, you will notice a lot of similarities. Gather all relevant documents and keep them organized in an easily accessible binder or folder so that you may reach them whenever you need them and so that you may make copies and send information whenever it’s required.
Who Is Eligible for Scholarships for Asians?
As you can see from the requirements for APIASF scholarships, you must be of Asian or Pacific Islander decent to be eligible for these scholarships. Most grants are need-based, and some scholarships have need-based factors, as well. If this is the case, you’ll have to show proof of need by providing income and tax information for yourself and your family.
On the other hand, if you’re applying for a purely merit-based scholarship for minorities, you will not have to provide this information. However, the essay and academic achievement requirements will likely be much more strict.
Fortunately, the information for the APIASF’s scholarships and all of the scholarships listed on the databases above is easily accessible. You’ll be able to read the requirements for eligibility as soon as you click on a scholarship, and you’ll be able to quickly deduce whether you should apply for a scholarship or move on to the next one.
Pay Attention to Deadlines During the Application Process
Once you’ve selected a few scholarships that interest you, take note of their deadlines and start organizing a schedule for getting everything together. Give yourself time to write and revise your essay or personal statement. Allow time, also, to ask a professor or mentor for a letter of recommendation. You’ll always get a better letter if you give them time to write it and don’t put the pressure of a deadline on them.
Set mini-deadlines for yourself to achieve milestones on the way to sending your application off. Then, once you’ve finished everything, make sure that you get your application package insured and that you track the package so that you know it arrives on time and safely.
Scholarships for Asian Americans are designed to help you get the education you deserve without the heavy load that comes with student loans.
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